The Orkhon inscriptions known as Orhon Inscriptions, Orhun Inscriptions, Khöshöö Tsaidam monuments, or Kul Tigin steles, are two memorial installations erected by the Göktürks written in Old Turkic alphabet in the early 8th century in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. They were erected in honor of Kul Tigin and his brother Bilge Khagan; the inscriptions, in both Chinese and Old Turkic, relate the legendary origins of the Turks, the golden age of their history, their subjugation by the Chinese, their liberation by Ilterish Qaghan. In fact, according to one source, the inscriptions contain "rhythmic and parallelistic passages" that resemble that of epics; the inscriptions were discovered by Nikolay Yadrintsev's expedition in 1889, published by Vasily Radlov. The original text was written in the Old Turkic alphabet and was deciphered by the Danish philologist Vilhelm Thomsen in 1893. Vilhelm Thomsen first published the translation in French in 1899, he published another interpretation in Danish in 1922 with a more complete translation.
Orkhon Valley is a region on the western Orkhon River near Ögii Lake. More they stand about fifty miles north of the Erdene Zuu Monastery, twenty-five miles northwest of the Ordu-Baliq. Before the Orkhon Inscriptions were deciphered by Vilhelm Thomsen little was known about Turkic script; the scripts are the oldest form of a Turkic language to be preserved. When the Orkhon inscriptions were first discovered, it was obvious that they were a runic type of script, discovered at other sites, but these versions had a clear form, similar to an alphabet; when Vilhelm Thomsen deciphered the translation it was a huge stepping stone in understanding old Turkic script. The inscriptions provided much of the foundation for translating other Turkic writings; the scripts follow an alphabetical form, but appear to have strong influences of rune carvings. The inscriptions are a great example of early signs of nomadic society's transitions from use of runes to a uniform alphabet, influenced that of the Uighur script and Sogdian language.
Both inscriptions are part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape UNESCO world heritage site in Mongolia. TIKA showed interest in the site in the late 20th century and finalized their project to restore and protect all three inscriptions. Since 2000, over 70 archeologists from around the world have studied the area and performed excavations; the site is now protected by fences with buildings for research storage of artifacts. The total cost of the project is around 20 million dollars and will include the building of a museum to house the inscriptions and other discovered artifacts, they were erected by the Göktürks in the early 8th century. They commemorate the brothers Bilge Khagan and Kul-Tegin, one a politician and the other a military commander. Both were descendants of Ilterish Qaghan of the Second Turkic Khaganate, a prominent Turkic nomadic society during the Tang dynasty; the Göktürks have left artifacts and installations from China to Iran. But only in Mongolia have any memorials to kings and other aristocrats been found.
The ones in Khöshöö Tsaidam consist of tablets with inscriptions in Chinese and Old Turkic characters. Both monuments are stone slabs erected on carved stone turtles within walled enclosures. Bilge Khagan's stone shows a twisted dragon. In both enclosings, evidence of altars and carved depictions of human couples were found depicting the respective honorary and his spouse; the Old Turkic inscriptions on these monuments were written by Yollug Tigin, nephew of Bilge Khagan. These inscriptions together with the Tonyukuk inscription, are the oldest extant attestation of that language; the inscriptions show the sacred importance of the region, as evidenced by the statement, "If you stay in the land of the Ötüken, send caravans from there, you will have no trouble. If you stay at the Ötüken Mountains, you will live forever dominating the tribes!" A full English translation of the inscriptions may be found in The Orkhon Inscriptions: Being a Translation of Professor Vilhelm Thomsen's Final Danish Rendering The two monuments themselves have engravings on all four sides.
However, some of the script was not preserved, or is missing, therefore only portions of the original message remain. What follows is a summary of the most complete section of the inscriptions. One translation of the first and second monuments seems to indicate that the text continues from one side to the other; the first portion of the Turkic translations seems to be Bilge Khagan discussing the commemoration of the tablet, as well as mentioning the extent of the empire. One passage reads, "To the East I have made campaigns as far as the Shantung plain, reached the sea. To all these lands have I led; the forest of Mount Otiikin has no overlord. Continuing on, the inscriptions discuss the conquests of the Bilge Khagan and the struggles
The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to themselves as the "Han Chinese" and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters", it was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han, interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han dynasty into two periods: the Western Han or Former Han and the Eastern Han or Later Han; the emperor was at the pinnacle of Han society. He presided over the Han government but shared power with both the nobility and appointed ministers who came from the scholarly gentry class; the Han Empire was divided into areas directly controlled by the central government using an innovation inherited from the Qin known as commanderies, a number of semi-autonomous kingdoms.
These kingdoms lost all vestiges of their independence following the Rebellion of the Seven States. From the reign of Emperor Wu onward, the Chinese court sponsored Confucianism in education and court politics, synthesized with the cosmology of scholars such as Dong Zhongshu; this policy endured until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 AD. The Han dynasty saw an age of economic prosperity and witnessed a significant growth of the money economy first established during the Zhou dynasty; the coinage issued by the central government mint in 119 BC remained the standard coinage of China until the Tang dynasty. The period saw a number of limited institutional innovations. To finance its military campaigns and the settlement of newly conquered frontier territories, the Han government nationalized the private salt and iron industries in 117 BC, but these government monopolies were repealed during the Eastern Han dynasty. Science and technology during the Han period saw significant advances, including the process of papermaking, the nautical steering ship rudder, the use of negative numbers in mathematics, the raised-relief map, the hydraulic-powered armillary sphere for astronomy, a seismometer employing an inverted pendulum that could be used to discern the cardinal direction of distant earthquakes.
The Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior and vassal partner, but continued their military raids on the Han borders. Emperor Wu launched several military campaigns against them; the ultimate Han victory in these wars forced the Xiongnu to accept vassal status as Han tributaries. These campaigns expanded Han sovereignty into the Tarim Basin of Central Asia, divided the Xiongnu into two separate confederations, helped establish the vast trade network known as the Silk Road, which reached as far as the Mediterranean world; the territories north of Han's borders were overrun by the nomadic Xianbei confederation. Emperor Wu launched successful military expeditions in the south, annexing Nanyue in 111 BC and Dian in 109 BC, in the Korean Peninsula where the Xuantu and Lelang Commanderies were established in 108 BC. After 92 AD, the palace eunuchs involved themselves in court politics, engaging in violent power struggles between the various consort clans of the empresses and empresses dowager, causing the Han's ultimate downfall.
Imperial authority was seriously challenged by large Daoist religious societies which instigated the Yellow Turban Rebellion and the Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion. Following the death of Emperor Ling, the palace eunuchs suffered wholesale massacre by military officers, allowing members of the aristocracy and military governors to become warlords and divide the empire; when Cao Pi, King of Wei, usurped the throne from Emperor Xian, the Han dynasty ceased to exist. According to the Records of the Grand Historian, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty the hegemon Xiang Yu appointed Liu Bang as prince of the small fief of Hanzhong, named after its location on the Han River. Following Liu Bang's victory in the Chu–Han Contention, the resulting Han dynasty was named after the Hanzhong fief. China's first imperial dynasty was the Qin dynasty; the Qin unified the Chinese Warring States by conquest, but their empire became unstable after the death of the first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Within four years, the dynasty's authority had collapsed in the face of rebellion.
Two former rebel leaders, Xiang Yu of Chu and Liu Bang of Han, engaged in a war to decide who would become hegemon of China, which had fissured into 18 kingdoms, each claiming allegiance to either Xiang Yu or Liu Bang. Although Xiang Yu proved to be a capable commander, Liu Bang defeated him at Battle of Gaixia, in modern-day Anhui. Liu Bang assumed the title "emperor" at the urging of his followers and is known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu. Chang'an was chosen as the new capital of the reunified empire under Han. At the beginning of the Western Han known as the Former Han dynasty, thirteen centrally controlled commanderies—including the capital region—existed in the western third of the empire, while the eastern two-thirds were divided into ten semi-autonomous kingdoms. To placate his prominent commanders from the war with Chu, Emperor Gaozu enfeoffed some of them as kings. By 157 BC, the Han court h
Tengri, is one of the names for the primary chief deity used by the early Turkic and Mongolic peoples. Worship of Tengri is Tengrism; the core beings in Tengrism are the Earth Mother. It involves shamanism, animism and ancestor worship; the oldest form of the name is recorded in Chinese annals from the 4th century BC, describing the beliefs of the Xiongnu. It takes the form 撑犁/Cheng-li, hypothesized to be a Chinese transcription of Tängri. Alternatively, a reconstructed Altaic etymology from *T`aŋgiri would emphasize the god's divinity rather than his domain over the sky; the Turkic form, Tengri, is attested in the 8th century Orkhon inscriptions as the Old Turkic form Teŋri. In modern Turkish, the derived word "Tanrı" is used as the generic word for "god", or for the Abrahamic God, is used today by Turkish people to refer to any god; the supreme deity of the traditional religion of the Chuvash is Tură. Other reflexes of the name in modern languages include Mongolian: Тэнгэр, Bulgarian: Тангра, Azerbaijani: Tanrı.
The Chinese word for "sky" 天 may be related a loan from a prehistoric Central Asian language. However, this proposal conflicts with recent reconstructions of the Old Chinese pronunciation of the character "天" as "qhl'iin" or similar, with a lateral consonant. Linguist Stefan Georg has proposed that the Turkic word originates as a loanword from Proto-Yeniseian *tɨŋgVr- "high". Tengri was the national god of the Göktürks, described as the "god of the Turks"; the Göktürk khans based their power on a mandate from Tengri. These rulers were accepted as the sons of Tengri who represented him on Earth, they wore titles such as tengrikut, kutluġ or kutalmysh, based on the belief that they attained the kut, the mighty spirit granted to these rulers by Tengri. Tengri was the chief deity worshipped by the ruling class of the Central Asian steppe peoples in 6th to 9th centuries, it lost its importance when the Uighuric kagans proclaimed Manichaeism the state religion in the 8th century. The worship of Tengri was brought into Eastern Europe by early Bulgars.
Tengri is considered to be the chief god. In addition to this celestial god, they had minor divinities that served the purposes of Tengri; as Gök Tanrı, he was the father of the sun and moon and Umay and sometimes Ülgen. Tengri was the main god of the Turkic pantheon, controlling the celestial sphere. Tengri is considered to be strikingly similar to the Indo-European sky god, *Dyeus, the structure of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is closer to that of the early Turks than to the religion of any people of Near Eastern or Mediterranean antiquity; the most important contemporary testimony of Tengri worship is found in the Old Turkic Orkhon inscriptions, dated to the early 8th century. Written in the so-called Orkhon script, these inscriptions record an account of the mythological origins of the Turks; the inscription dedicated to Kul Tigin includes the passages: "When the blue sky above and the brown earth below were created, between them a human being was created. Over the human beings, my ancestors Bumin Kagan and Istemi Kagan ruled.
They ruled people by Turkish laws, they led them and succeeded". Human beings have all been created in order to die". In Turkic mythology, Tengri is a pure, white goose that flies over an endless expanse of water, which represents time. Beneath this water, Ak Ana calls out to him saying "Create". To overcome his loneliness, Tengri creates Er Kishi, not as pure or as white as Tengri and together they set up the world. Er Kishi strives to mislead people and draw them into its darkness. Tengri assumes the name Tengri Ülgen and withdraws into Heaven from which he tries to provide people with guidance through sacred animals that he sends among them; the Ak Tengris occupy the fifth level of Heaven. Shaman priests who want to reach Tengri Ülgen never get further than this level, where they convey their wishes to the divine guides. Returns to earth or to the human level take place in a goose-shaped vessel. According to Mahmud al-Kashgari, Tengri was known to make plants grow and the lightning flash. Turks used the adjective tengri which means "heavenly, divine", to label everything that seemed grandiose, such as a tree or a mountain, they stooped to such entities.
Tengri worship by "infidels" was viewed negatively by Kashgari. The non-Muslim Turks' worship of Tengri was mocked and insulted by al-Kashgari, who wrote a verse referring to them – The Infidels – May God destroy them!al-Kashgari claimed that the Prophet assisted in a miraculous event where 700,000 Yabāqu infidels were defeated by 40,000 Muslims led by Arslān Tegīn claiming that fires shot sparks from gates located on a green mountain towards the Yabāqu. The Yabaqu were a Turkic people. A pyramidal peak of the Tian Shan range between China and Kyrgyzstan, is called "Khan Tengri." The Tian Shan itself is known in Uy
The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area, part of Scythia at the time. By 370 AD, the Huns had arrived on the Volga, by 430 the Huns had established a vast, if short-lived, dominion in Europe, conquering the Goths and many other Germanic peoples living outside of Roman borders, causing many others to flee into Roman territory; the Huns under their King Attila made frequent and devastating raids into the Eastern Roman Empire. In 451, the Huns invaded the Western Roman province of Gaul, where they fought a combined army of Romans and Visigoths at the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, in 452 they invaded Italy. After Attila's death in 453, the Huns ceased to be a major threat to Rome and lost much of their empire following the Battle of Nedao. Descendants of the Huns, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighbouring populations to the south and west as having occupied parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia from about the 4th to 6th centuries.
Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century. In the 18th century, the French scholar Joseph de Guignes became the first to propose a link between the Huns and the Xiongnu people, who were northern neighbours of China in the 3rd century BC. Since Guignes' time, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection; the issue remains controversial. Their relationships to other peoples known collectively as the Iranian Huns are disputed. Little is known about Hunnic culture and few archaeological remains have been conclusively associated with the Huns, they are believed to have used bronze cauldrons and to have performed artificial cranial deformation. No description exists of the Hunnic religion of the time of Attila, but practices such as divination are attested, the existence of shamans likely, it is known that the Huns had a language of their own, however only three words and personal names attest to it. Economically, they are known to have practiced a form of nomadic pastoralism.
They do not seem to have had a unified government when they entered Europe, but rather to have developed a unified tribal leadership in the course of their wars with the Romans. The Huns ruled over a variety of peoples, who spoke various languages and some of whom maintained their own rulers, their main military technique was mounted archery. The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire; the memory of the Huns lived on in various Christian saints' lives, where the Huns play the roles of antagonists, as well as in Germanic heroic legend, where the Huns are variously antagonists or allies to the Germanic main figures. In Hungary, a legend developed based on medieval chronicles that the Hungarians, the Székely ethnic group in particular, are descended from the Huns. However, mainstream scholarship dismisses a close connection between the Huns. Modern culture associates the Huns with extreme cruelty and barbarism; the origins of the Huns and their links to other steppe people remain uncertain: scholars agree that they originated in Central Asia but disagree on the specifics of their origins.
Classical sources assert that they appeared in Europe around 370. Most Roman writers' attempts to elucidate the origins of the Huns equated them with earlier steppe peoples. Roman writers repeated a tale that the Huns had entered the domain of the Goths while they were pursuing a wild stag, or else one of their cows that had gotten loose, across the Kerch Strait into Crimea. Discovering the land good, they attacked the Goths. Jordanes' Getica relates that the Goths held the Huns to be offspring of "unclean spirits" and Gothic witches. Since Joseph de Guignes in the 18th century, modern historians have associated the Huns who appeared on the borders of Europe in the 4th century AD with the Xiongnu who had invaded China from the territory of present-day Mongolia between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD. Due to the devastating defeat by the Chinese Han dynasty, the northern branch of the Xiongnu had retreated north-westward. Scholars discussed the relationship between the Xungnu, the Huns, a number of people in central Asia were known as or came to be identified with the name "Hun" or "Iranian Huns", the Chionites, the Kidarites, the Hephthalites being the most prominent.
Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen was the first to challenge the traditional approach, based on the study of written sources, to emphasize the importance of archaeological research. Since Maenchen-Helfen's work, the identification of the Xiongnu as the Huns' ancestors has become controversial. Additionally, several scholars have questioned the identification of the "Iranian Huns" with the European Huns. Walter Pohl cautions that none of the great confederations of steppe warriors was ethnically homogenous, the same name was used by different groups for reasons of prestige, or by outsiders to describe their lifestyle or geographic origin, it is therefore futile to speculate about identity or blood relationships between Hiung-nu, Attila's Huns, for instance. All we can safely say is that the name Huns, in
Güyük was the third Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, the eldest son of Ögedei Khan and a grandson of Genghis Khan. He reigned from 1246 to 1248. Güyük received military training and served as an officer under his grandfather Genghis Khan and his father Ögedei Khan, he married Oghul Qaimish of the Merkit clan. In 1233, Güyük, along with his maternal cousin Alchidai and the Mongol general Tangghud, conquered the short-lived Dongxia Kingdom of Puxian Wannu, a rebellious Jin official, in a few months. After the death of Güyük‘s uncle Tolui, Ögedei proposed that Sorghaghtani, the widow of Tolui, marry his son Güyük. Sorghaghtani declined. Güyük participated in the invasion of Russia and Central Europe in 1236–1241 with other Mongol princes, including his cousin Batu and half-brother Kadan, he led his corps in the lengthy siege of the Ossetian capital Maghas. During the course of the conquest, Güyük quarreled violently with Batu at the victory banquet and screamed at him, "Batu is just an old woman with a quiver".
Güyük and Büri, a grandson of Chagatai, stormed out of the banquet and rode away swearing and cursing. When word reached the Great Khan, they were recalled for a time to Mongolia. Ögedei threatened to have his son Güyük executed. Ögedei calmed down and admitted Güyük into his ger. Ögedei criticized Güyük, "Do you think that the Russians surrendered because how mean you were to your own men.... Because you captured one or two warriors, you think, but you didn't capture a single kid goat." Ögedei reprimanded his son harshly for mistreating his soldiers. Güyük was dispatched again to Europe. In the meantime, Ögedei had died, his widow Töregene had taken over as regent, a position of great influence and authority that she used to advocate for her son Güyük. Batu withdrew from Europe so that he might have some influence over the succession, but despite his delaying tactics, Töregene succeeded in getting Güyük elected Khan in 1246; when Genghis Khan's youngest brother, Temüge, threatened the Great Khatun Toregene in an attempt to seize the throne, Güyük came to Mongolia from Emil to secure his position immediately.
Güyük's enthronement on 24 August 1246, near the Mongol capital at Karakorum, was attended by a large number of foreign ambassadors: the Franciscan friar and envoy of Pope Innocent IV, John of Plano Carpini and Benedict of Poland. According to John of Plano Carpini, Güyük's formal election in a great kurultai, or diet of the tribes, took place while his company was at a camp called Sira Orda, or "Yellow Pavilion," along with 3,000 to 4,000 visitors from all parts of Asia and eastern Europe, bearing homage and presents, they afterwards witnessed the formal enthronement at another camp in the vicinity called the "Golden Ordu," after which they were presented to the emperor. Mosul submitted to him; when the papal envoy John of Plano Carpini protested Mongol attacks on the Catholic kingdoms of Europe, Güyük stated that these people had slain Mongol envoys in the time of Genghis Khan and Ogedei Khan. He claimed that "from the rising of the sun to its setting, all the lands have been made subject to the Great Khan", proclaiming an explicit ideology of world conquest.
The Khagan wrote a letter to Pope Innocent IV on the relations between the Church and the Mongols. "You must say with a sincere heart:'We will be your subjects. You must in person come with your kings, all together, without exception, to render us service and pay us homage. Only will we acknowledge your submission, and if you do not follow the order of God, go against our orders, we will know you as our enemy." According to the account by John of Plano Carpini, Genghis Khan's daughter or the aunt of the Khagan was executed for poisoning Ogedei. Güyük followed his father's policy and had Fatima arrested and executed for bewitching his brother Koden and Abd-ur-Rahman was beheaded for corruption. Of the provincial officials appointed under Toregene, only the Oirat official Arghun Aqa remained. Güyük had Temüge's case investigated by Orda Khan and Möngke, they had him executed. Güyük replaced the child khan Qara Hülëgü of the Chagatai Khanate with his favorite cousin Yesü Möngke to secure his position.
He restored his father's officials, Mahmud Yalavach, Masud Beg and Chinqai to positions in the provinces. Güyük reversed several unpopular edicts of his mother the regent and made a capable khan, appointing Eljigidei in Persia in preparation for an attack on Baghdad and the Ismailis and pursuing the war against the Song Dynasty, he was insecure and won the disapproval of his subjects by executing several high-ranking officials of the previous regime for treason. The Seljuk princes struggled incessantly for the throne of the Sultanate of Rum. Despised by Izz-ad-Din, Rukn ad-Din Kilij Arslan IV came to Mongolia. Güyük ordered. A darughachi with 2,000 Mongol troops was sent to enforce this decision; when both David Narin and David Ulu summoned before Güyük in Karakorum, he made David Ulu the senior king and divided the Kingdom of Georgia between them. After the treaty signed by the Mongols a
The Xianbei were an nomadic tribal confederation residing in what is today's eastern Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Northeast China. Along with the Xiongnu, they were one of the major nomadic groups in northern China from the Han Dynasty to the Northern and Southern dynasties, they established their own northern dynasties such as the Northern Wei founded in the 4th century AD by the Tuoba clan. During the Uprising of the Five Barbarians they became categorized as one of the Five Barbarians by the Han Chinese. Paul Pelliot tentatively reconstructs the Later Han Chinese pronunciation of 鮮卑 as *serbi after noting that Chinese scribes used 鮮 to transcribe Middle Persian sēr; the other character 卑 was used to transcribe foreign syllable /pi/. Moreover, 室韦 （Chinese: 室韋. *Särpi may be linked, on the one hand, to Mongolic root *ser ~*sir which means "crest, sticking out, etc.". On the other hand, Mänchen-Helfen considers *särpi to be an Indo-European loanword, it is theorized that the Xianbei spoke a language related to the Mongolic languages.
Claus Schönig writes: The Xianbei derived from the context of the Donghu, who are to have contained the linguistic ancestors of the Mongols. Branches and descendants of the Xianbei include the Tabghach and Khitan, who seem to have been linguistically Para-Mongolic. Opinions differ as to what the linguistic impact of the Xianbei period was; some scholars have preferred to regard the Xianbei and Tabghach as Turks, or as Bulghar Turks, with the implication that the entire layer of early Turkic borrowings in Mongolic would have been received from the Xianbei, rather than from the Xiongnu. However, since the Mongolic identity of the Xianbei is obvious in the light of recent progress in Khitan studies, it is more reasonable to assume that the flow of linguistic influence from Turkic into Mongolic was at least reversed during the Xianbei period, yielding the first identifiable layer of Mongolic loanwords in Turkic, it is possible that the Xianbei spoke more than one language. The origins of the Xianbei are unclear.
It is proven. Chinese anthropologist Zhu Hong and Zhang Quan‐chao studied Xianbei crania from several sites of Inner Mongolia and noticed that anthropological features of studied Xianbei crania show that the racial type is related to the modern East-Asian Mongoloids, some physical characteristics of those skulls are closer to modern Mongols and Han Chinese. Genetic analyses of Xianbei populations about 1,500-1,800 years old were made on the remains of 17 Tuoba Xianbei mtDNA individuals from Shangdu Dongdajing cemetery; the haplogroups presented are characterized in mongoloid Asian population such as 29.5% C, 23.5% D4, 17.6% D5, 17.6% A, 5.9% B and 5.9% G. Analyses about the y-DNA markers of ancient individuals of northern China and modern Mongolia showed that Xianbei individuals belong to the Haplogroup C-M217, Haplogroup N-M231 Haplogroup O-M175 and Haplogroup Q-M242. Xianbei are on the one hand most related to samples of the Xiongnu and Mongols and on the other hand to Han Chinese, it is possible that the Xianbei were a multi-ethnic federation consisting of northern nomadic people and southern agriculturalists who joined or adopted a nomadic life.
Other research found a relation between Xianbei individuals with modern Oroqen and Outer Mongolian people. Tungusic Oroqen show close relation to Xianbei. Chinese historical texts unequivocally state that the Xianbei were descendants of the earlier Donghu, the “Eastern Hu” based on Chinese records. After the Donghu were defeated by Modu Chanyu around 208 BC, the Donghu splintered into the Xianbei and Wuhuan; the Book of the Later Han says that “the language and culture of the Xianbei are the same as the Wuhuan”. The Records of the Three Kingdoms say: Tanshihuai of the Xianbei divided his territory into three sections: the eastern, the middle and the western. From the You Beiping to the Liao River, connecting the Fuyu and Mo to the east, it was the eastern section. There were more than twenty counties; the darens were called Mijia, Queji and Huaitou. From the You Beiping to Shanggu to the west, it was the middle section. There were more than ten counties; the darens of this section were called Kezui, Murong, et al.
From Shanggu to Dunhuang, connecting the Wusun to the west, it was the western section. There were more than twenty counties; the darens were called Rilü Tuiyan, Yanliyou, et al.. These chiefs were all subordinate to Tanshihuai; the Book of the Later Han records a memorial submitted in 177: Ever since the Xiongnu ran away, the Xianbei have become powerful and populous, taking all the lands held by the Xiong-nu and claiming to have 100,000 warriors. … Refined metals and wrought iron have come into the possession of the rebels. Han deserters seek refuge and serve as their advisers, their weapons are sharper and their horses are faster than those of the Xiong-nu. Another memorial submitted in 185 is recorded by the Book of the Later Han: The Xianbei people … invade our frontiers so that hardly a year goes by in peace, it is only when the trading season arrives that they come forward in sub
Old Chinese called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscriptions on oracle bones from around 1250 BC, in the late Shang dynasty. Bronze inscriptions became plentiful during the following Zhou dynasty; the latter part of the Zhou period saw a flowering of literature, including classical works such as the Analects, the Mencius, the Zuo zhuan. These works served as models for Literary Chinese, which remained the written standard until the early twentieth century, thus preserving the vocabulary and grammar of late Old Chinese. Old Chinese was written with an early form of Chinese characters, with each character representing a monosyllabic word. Although the script is not alphabetic, most characters were created by adapting a character for a similar-sounding word. Scholars have used the phonetic information in the script and the rhyming practice of ancient poetry to reconstruct Old Chinese phonology, corresponding to the Western Zhou period in the early part of the 1st millennium BC.
Although many of the finer details remain unclear, most scholars agree that Old Chinese differed from Middle Chinese in lacking retroflex and palatal obstruents but having initial consonant clusters of some sort, in having voiceless nasals and liquids. Most recent reconstructions describe Old Chinese as a language without tones, but having consonant clusters at the end of the syllable, which developed into tone distinctions in Middle Chinese. Most researchers trace the core vocabulary of Old Chinese to Sino-Tibetan, with much early borrowing from neighbouring languages. During the Zhou period, the monosyllabic vocabulary was augmented with polysyllabic words formed by compounding and reduplication. Several derivational affixes have been identified; however the language lacked inflection, indicated grammatical relationships using word order and grammatical particles. Middle Chinese and its southern neighbours Kra–Dai, Hmong–Mien and the Vietic branch of Austroasiatic have similar tone systems, syllable structure, grammatical features and lack of inflection, but these are believed to be areal features spread by diffusion rather than indicating common descent.
The most accepted hypothesis is that Chinese belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family, together with Burmese and many other languages spoken in the Himalayas and the Southeast Asian Massif. The evidence consists of some hundreds of proposed cognate words, including such basic vocabulary as the following: Although the relationship was first proposed in the early 19th century and is now broadly accepted, reconstruction of Sino-Tibetan is much less developed than that of families such as Indo-European or Austronesian. Although Old Chinese is by far the earliest attested member of the family, its logographic script does not indicate the pronunciation of words. Other difficulties have included the great diversity of the languages, the lack of inflection in many of them, the effects of language contact. In addition, many of the smaller languages are spoken in mountainous areas that are difficult to reach, including several sensitive border zones. Initial consonants correspond regarding place and manner of articulation, but voicing and aspiration are much less regular, prefixal elements vary between languages.
Some researchers believe. Proto-Tibeto-Burman as reconstructed by Benedict and Matisoff lacks an aspiration distinction on initial stops and affricates. Aspiration in Old Chinese corresponds to pre-initial consonants in Tibetan and Lolo-Burmese, is believed to be a Chinese innovation arising from earlier prefixes. Proto-Sino-Tibetan is reconstructed with a six-vowel system as in recent reconstructions of Old Chinese, with the Tibeto-Burman languages distinguished by the merger of the mid-central vowel *-ə- with *-a-; the other vowels are preserved by both, with some alternation between *-e- and *-i-, between *-o- and *-u-. The earliest known written records of the Chinese language were found at the Yinxu site near modern Anyang identified as the last capital of the Shang dynasty, date from about 1250 BC; these are the oracle bones, short inscriptions carved on tortoise plastrons and ox scapulae for divinatory purposes, as well as a few brief bronze inscriptions. The language written is undoubtedly an early form of Chinese, but is difficult to interpret due to the limited subject matter and high proportion of proper names.
Only half of the 4,000 characters used have been identified with certainty. Little is known about the grammar of this language, but it seems much less reliant on grammatical particles than Classical Chinese. From early in the Western Zhou period, around 1000 BC, the most important recovered texts are bronze inscriptions, many of considerable length. Longer pre-Classical texts on a wide range of subjects have been transmitted through the literary tradition; the oldest parts of the Book of Documents, the Classic of Poetry and the I Ching date from the early Zhou period, resemble the bronze inscriptions in vocabulary and style. A greater proportion of this more varied vocabulary has been identified than for the oracular period; the four centuries preceding the unification of China in 221 BC constitute the Chinese classical period in the strict sense. There are many bronze inscriptions from this period, but they are vastly outweighed by a rich literature written in ink on bamboo and wooden slips and silk.
Although these are perishable materials, many books were destroyed i